that to survive and even thrive was an amazing achi. The fact that this couple produced four sons and one daugther and two successful import companies is no small feat. Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2019. Despite the lack of education, he had ambition; he worked hard and became a successful businessman. This was way too boring for me to continue. Through research and talking to relatives, she has been able to trace back the beginnings of her family in America, when her great grandfather arrived from China when he was still in his teens, and pretty much uneducated. The curios are no longer high quality as Fong See specialized in but just little trinkets to take home. Do not think everything has to be Chinese. I had never heard of Lisa See, but just about everyone I've mentioned this book to seems to have read at least one of her novels. The family also experiences the "rags to riches" story of financial success in their new country, so the overall story is one of hopes and dreams fulfilled in addition to pain and loss. Keeping the memebers of the original See family straight was tough but trying to keep up with the second wives, third wives and fourth wives and their children was frustrating and boring. They spoke of how Lisa's great-great-grandfather emigrated from his Chinese village to the United States; how his son followed him, married a Caucasian woman, and despite great odds, went on to become one of the most prominent Chinese on "Gold Mountain" (the Chinese name for the United States). Other parts felt like laundry lists especially when she talked about the various businesses her relatives had. Lots of interesting history told along with the family stories. I couldn't put it down and kept repeating information to my husband as we listened to the news. To see what your friends thought of this book. On Gold Mountain was a non-fiction book about Lisa See's family history. It is mainly a story, not a history, yet this Angeleno spent an inordinate amount of time with the simple maps of Old and New Chinatown in downtown LA, tracing the streets I know and those that have disappeared into the mist. The Central Pacific company employed some 20,000 … Many images of early Los Angeles and Hollywood linger after the final page - little Lisa retreating to her grandparents house in Chinatown, Anna Mae Wong holding court in the See family restaurant, antique furniture rented to the studios for films. Hey friendssssss!! I wanted to compare technique. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. This one family history, over 100 years time span, coped with Coming to America. I also kept finding myself thinking, "How could she have KNOWN what he was thinking at that moment?" It was the inspiration for an exhibition at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in 2000. He begins with a remarkable fact. Reviewed in the United States on August 4, 2019, First off, I live in California and have traveled across the Donner Pass by train and Interstate. I was especially impressed with her ability to look critically at the actions of elders she grew up with. Nevertheless, for the most. Lisa's ancestors were those people. Quite a book. by Vintage Books, On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family. On Gold Mountain is a history of the Fong See family in America when her great-grandfather immigrated as a youngster and entered Gold Mountain (the Chinese ;name for the United States). I think this may be the first or one of the first non-fiction memoirs about a Chinese American family I’ve read. It reminds me of my dad's request to write our family's story. Along the way, he and succeeding generations marry white Ameri. If you've enjoyed any of Lisa See's novels, you will be happy to hear that although this story is based on historical events, it reads like one of her novels, with quite a lot of suspense, drama and even laughter. Family is an understatement, however, as the patriarch, Fong See, … On one hand, you see the harsh treatment of indentured servants toiling on the railroads and the racism evident in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and during World War II. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this On Gold Mountain study guide. The deck was so stacked against Chinese immigrants then and for the next almost 100 years (immigration almost impossible once the railroad was complete, almost impossible for women to immigrate, illegal to marry a white person, illegal to own property, couldn't become a citizen, etc. She takes me along in the telling of her people lives and how they lived in California traveling from China in 1871 and how terribly the Chinese immigrants were taken advantage of, the Chinese men built the railroad, and since their lives were of little value by the Caucasians thousands of Chinese men gave their lives working in inhuman conditions to complete that railroad. You can’t live unless you take a chance; and your living is limited by the chances you take.”, “When you do things in a soft way, you make the other people believe they’ve thought up something to do for you, when actually you’re directing them.” Later, Ruth”, Sons of the Profits: There's No Business Like Grow Business. I learned a lot more about the immigration of Chinese and the forming of the West Coast. This book was my cup of tea. She interviewed nearly one hundred relatives - both Chinese and Caucasian, rich and poor - and pored over documents at the National Archives, the immigration office, and in countless attics, basements, and closets for the intimate nuances of her ancestors' lives. Having read "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" and "Peony in Love", I looked forward to reading "On Gold Mountain" by Lisa See. After receiving your book, our Editors will allocate your book to one of the team of Ambassadors who will review the book and provide a detailed review which will then be emailed to you within 4 weeks of submission. I picked this up expecting another fiction book by Lisa See. I have visited the Railroad Museum in Sacramento. Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain includes photographs, poems, interview excerpts, and more, creating a well-constructed history for young people about San Francisco's immigration station, which … You were born in this country, so you have to take on American culture, too. All the details I love in her novels have their bedrock in her family legends. Now when we watch those old black-and-white movies set in Chinatown from the 30s through the 40s we're on the lookout for sets created from the riches of the See family antique shops. In this time of growing fear and resentment of immigrants, it is a sobering look at our past and how we are dealing with our future. GHOSTS OF GOLD MOUNTAIN The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad By Gordon H. Chang. Although it took me forever to get through this book, I found it a fascinating read and something that I'll never forget. Nevertheless it was fascinating to learn of her history and that of the other Chinese immigrants. Her books include, “You can’t learn about living unless you live. You can see yourself walking the streets of Chinatown, as it forms and grows over the years. If it weren't the choice of my book club, I could never have gotten through it. Refresh and try again. In all the most amazing part of the book for me was the marriage between Fong See and Letticie Pruitt. She focuses primarily on her great-grandfather's life as the arc of the story, including the three generations of Caucasian women who married into this sprawling Chinese-American family. I love Lisa See's fiction and I found this memoir interesting. We’d love your help. I love Lisa See's novels, and am looking forward to reading The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. As the book went on it was heartbreaking to read about the distance, petty differences, and shortcomings between the five original See children. An interesting twist is that the original immigrant marries an American woman; the Chinese husband, American wife and bi-national children all face different types of discrimination. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. You are Chinese American.'" Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. I also kept finding myself thinking, "How could she have KNOWN what he was thinking at that moment?" Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. In the end, Lisa See provided a very detailed account of her families joys, hardships, success and failures. Disabling it will result in some disabled or missing features. It is not for the squeamish. See's book is … On Gold Mountain was a national bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book. "Those who fail learn from History are condemned to repeat it" Winston Churchill. She is of Chinese decent. Letticie was a Caucasian woman abandoned by her family because she wanted a different life for herself. I love this book because it made me look at the immigration issue in a new way. In "On Gold Mountain," published by St. Martin's Press this month, a man and woman meet, fall in bed and marry. I'm sad that some of the same prejudice lives on today regarding immigrants. Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2020. Detailed and illuminating view of the Chinese immigration experience in the United States. Cold Mountain is a novel by Charles Frazier that was first published in 1997. Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2014. Little money was made. Long but spellbinding true story of a Chinese immigrant to the US in the 19th century told by his great granddaughter. Without them California may not have become a State and Mexico, Britain or Russia might have been able to claim it. 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